With deep sadness we announce the passing of Toby Gutwilik on April 8th, 2021 at the age of 93.
She is survived by her children Jack (Shari), Hersh (Francine) and Fay-Lynn (Martin), grand-children, Micha (John), Matthew (Desiree), Cara (David), Jonathan (Rachel), Jacqui and Sabrina and great-grandchildren Malachi, Miles and Lyla.
She will also be missed by her nieces, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by her grandparents, parents and brothers who perished in the Holocaust, by her husband Mayer and by her son-in-law Phil.
Toby was born in Czechoslovakia and had a happy childhood, loving parents, two brothers and grandparents. She was separated from her family in 1944 and sent to three concentration camps, Auschwitz, then Hamburg and finally Bergen-Belsen from where she was liberated by the Swedish Red Cross at the end of the war in May, 1945. At age 18, she was the only member of her immediate family to survive the Holocaust. After the war, she was brought to Canada by her uncle who was living in Saskatchewan. There she met her husband Mayer who was also brought over to Canada after the war. They married in 1950 and started a family immediately. With baby Jack in tow, they moved to Winnipeg and had two more children, Hersh and Fay-Lynn. They made a new life in Winnipeg and made many close friends who became their family. Toby was very involved with a women’s group of Holocaust survivors.
Toby was a woman of many talents. She was a remarkable cook and baker. Cooking for Shabbat and the Jewish holidays was her pleasure and she made sure to always cook each person’s favourites. She was well known for the best gefilte fish, matzah balls, blintzes, knishes, kreplach, perogies, cabbage rolls, sweet kugel, bubka, latkes and hamantashen.
Kindness and generosity came naturally to Toby. There was always a place at her table for anyone who did not have somewhere to spend the holidays. Her home was open to all. A natural social worker, without a degree, Toby helped many people with a variety of problems ranging from loneliness, poverty or domestic violence.
Toby had a tremendous work ethic. She ran two grocery stores and then worked at the Sharon Home as a dietary aide. Her hard work was motivated by being able to provide her children with as many opportunities as possible and most of all, a Jewish education. Toby did everything with a love of her Jewish heritage. She kept a kosher home and loved hosting Shabbat and holiday dinners and continued to do so until recently.
Family was Toby’s priority. This included extended family and making her home their home. Toby was a devoted grandmother. There was nothing she would not and did not do for any of her grandchildren, including travelling to Toronto, New York or New Jersey to help with new babies, or spending several days a week helping with her triplet grandchildren. She attended all school events and concerts. Nothing gave her more happiness than her grandchildren. She was thrilled to be able to attend all bar and bat mitzvahs and thrilled to dance at each of the triplet’s weddings. She was overjoyed by the birth of each of her three great-grandchildren and thrilled to be involved in their lives in any way she could, which included cooking homemade baby food. She was excited to know a fourth great- grandchild was on the way.
Toby was devoted to her husband Mayer. When he suffered a stroke at age 80, she was determined to make sure he was well cared for in their own home. She focused all her energy on his care and, with the help of dedicated home care workers, was able to care for him at home until the last two weeks of his life. After he passed away in 2014, and her health problems began she decided to focus on her own health to ensure she lived as long as she could. Daily, she walked the track at the Rady Centre, until she was no longer able to. She was proud to manage her blood sugars, weight and cardiac stability. She was the model patient for her family doctors and many specialists she needed over the last decade.
Toby’s smile and loving, caring, nature will be forever remembered and sadly missed by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The family would like to extend their appreciation and gratitude to Toby’s family doctor, Dr. Permack, and to Toby’s team of amazing caregivers, Imelda, Irene, Fiknete, Sathy and Gisele, along with all other doctors and home care workers who have crossed paths with Toby and her husband over the last decade. All of these people greatly enhanced the quality of Toby’s life as she battled many illnesses. The family would also like to thank all extended family and friends who have supported them during this difficult time.
Graveside funeral service was officiated by Rabbi Matthew Leibl on April 11th, 2021 at the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. Pallbearers were: grandchildren Matthew and Desiree, Cara and David, Jonathan and family friend Gary Levine. Memorial donations may be made to the Toby and Mayer Holocaust Education Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, to the Rady Jewish Community Centre, to the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, or to a charity of your choice.
On Monday, July 3, 2023, at home, after a short illness, Harry Reiss passed away at the age of 93. He was the beloved husband of 55 years to Vicky Reiss (Shumsky), who predeceased
him, as did his parents, Ira and Raizel Reiss. He is survived by his children, Jeffrey, wife Marlis,
grandchildren Sheena, Anita, and Leanna; Alan; and Ken, wife Sonya, grandchildren
Chloe, Noah, and Charlie; younger siblings, Sam Reiss, Edward Reiss, and Ida Alpern; and his partner Honey Kowall.
Harry was born in Dunajow, Poland and escaped at age nine with his immediate family due to the growing threat of war and the Holocaust. They left Poland on the “Alaunia” of the Cunard White Star Line, eventually arriving in Halifax on April 16, 1939, then arriving by train to Winnipeg on April 19th, proceeding to Brooksby, Saskatchewan, before eventually settling on a farmstead in Edenbridge, SK, where Harry went to school and helped out on the farm. At age seventeen, due to financial reasons, Harry needed to leave school to find work and arrived in Winnipeg, working 70-hour weeks in a fur coat factory. In 1951, he went to New York City where he stayed with relatives to attend a 6-month course in Fur Designing & Fur Cutting at the Sol Vogel School of Designing. Upon his return to Winnipeg, Harry started his own business in the basement of his parents’ house (who had moved to Wpg. with his siblings earlier that year), sewing patterns and selling fur coats to department stores, in addition to bringing his father, uncle Joe, and brother Sam into the venture. Later, the business expanded first to James St. and later to the Bedford Building on McDermot & King, where it remained thereafter and known as Reiss Furs, engaged in both wholesale and retail sales. Over the years, Harry and his partner Sam, developed an extremely successful enterprise, becoming the largest furrier business in Western Canada, renowned for their high-end garments, with international celebrities and royalty amoungst their clientele. Indeed, they were the last independent furrier in Winnipeg, as eventually the marketplace was changing with less demand for fur coats. Ever the astute businessman, Harry had evolved the business into additionally involving retail sales of high-quality non-fur winter wear, as well as men’s and women’s fashion for some time. In the latter half of his career, Harry successfully expanded into the area of property management, acquiring a number of downtown Winnipeg buildings and parking lots. He continued with property management after the closing of his retail operations in 2008 and “semi-retiring” at nearly eighty years of age.
Harry started to date Vicky in 1956, with them marrying the following year. They enjoyed many happy years together, socializing with family and friends, and in later years looking forward to their winter vacations in Florida. Tragically, Vicky passed away after a brief illness in 2012, at the age of only 73. Fortunately for Harry, over the passage of years he developed a close relationship with Honey Kowall, leading to the two of them ultimately living together, and with him being warmly accepted into the Kowall family.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude for the compassionate care given to Harry by the healthcare-aides who assisted him in his later days, as well as the longstanding service of Judy Hansen.
Funeral services, officiated by Rabbi Kliel Rose, were held at the Rosh Pina Memorial Park on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.
Peacefully, on October 4, 2023, Molly Rosenblat passed away in Winnipeg at the age of 96, just shy of her 97th birthday.Molly was predeceased by her husband, Ernie, and her brother, Syd Glow. Molly will be lovingly remembered by her two sons, Rob (Sue) and Ed (Bev); her grandchildren: Sarah (Zach), William, Alex (Adam), Carly, Randy (Kate); her six great-grandchildren: Raphael, Aron, Artemis, Isadore, Benjamin and Emma; and her many good friends.
The family would like to give special thanks to Drs. Sean Armstrong and Sarah Dunsmore and to all of the very caring staff in the Dialysis Wards at Seven Oaks Hospital. We would also like to thank Maria Szymanska, Molly’s case co-ordinator for over 12 years, her excellent neighbours from 2000 Sinclair Avenue: Carolyn and Earl Standil, Pearl Rosenberg, and Gus and Grace Kokoschke; as well as Molly’s sister-in-law, Freda Glow and her family, and Molly’s friends, just to name a few, that always looked in on her and cared deeply for her wellbeing.
We would also like to offer a very special thank you to nurse Jane Jaculak and the great and very caring staff at The Simkin Centre, where Molly resided for the past few years. A very special thank you also to Molly’s private caregivers, Liza Monton and Gloria Navarro, and many others that provided additional care, companionship, and wonderful support to Molly for many years.
A funeral service was held on Friday, October 6, 2023 at Congregation Etz Chayim followed by interment at Bnay Abraham Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, those wishing to do so may make donations in Molly’s honour to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, the Gwen Secter Creative Living Centre, or to any charity of their choice.
GORDON CHARLES POLLOCK
Gordon Pollock, at the age 94, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on the morning of Sunday, September 17, at Grace Hospital. Funeral services took place at the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery on Wednesday, September 20, Pallbearers were grandsons, Jeremy Lee and Samuel Pollock, granddaughters Samantha Pollock and Marni Weiss and nephews Joey Katz and Paul Kowall.
Gordon had 5 children: Marshall (Judy), Michael (Ronni), Raymie, who passed away in 2008 (Maureen), Joey (Laura) and Avrum (Tracy); 12 grandchildren: Marni (Jason), Lea (Ari), Jeremy (Stacey), Jonas (who passed away in 2020), Richard (Sarah), Adam (Samantha), Samantha (Ben), Danielle (Jonathan), Liam, Samuel, Benjamin and Alyssa; and 14 great-grandchildren: Sarah, Sammi, Sophie, Julia, Bridget, Mason, Max, Mia, Aiden, Benny Ray, Goldie, Raya, Max and Sydney.
Gordon was predeceased by his loving wife of almost 67 years, Mimi (Bursten), his parents, Sam and Sluva Pollock, mother-in-law Chana and father-in-law Joseph Bursten, sister Myra and husband Chiam, brother Mischa, brother Harvey and wife Sylvia, sister-in law Sookie and husband Zenith, and brothers-in-law Leslie and Raymie Bursten. In addition to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he is survived by his sister Cecile and husband Monte Kowall, sister-in-law Lynn Pollock, as well as many nieces, nephews, and their families. He had the unenviable status of outliving many of his life-long friends and would talk about them very fondly. He remained, well into his 90s, very sharp and loved to go out for meals, play bridge, do puzzles, play Rummikub, tell jokes, and was an avid follower of politics and current events.
Gordon was one of the longest practicing members of the Manitoba Law Society and prided himself on being a lawyer for clients of all walks of life, races and religions, many of whom were welcomed to his house on evenings and weekends to sign documents, as they were working people who couldn’t get off work during the day. He was a man with great patience and put the welfare of others above himself. He gave unconditionally to his family and friends, many times at his own expense. His and Mimi’s house always had an open door policy to which many of his family will attest. He loved to cook and barbeque and many times for 20 plus at a time. He and Mimi enjoyed traveling and especially to Palm Springs for many years. They will be missed by all that knew them.
We would like to thank Rabbi Matthew Leibl for his kind words and wonderful service and the many home care workers for their wonderful assistance over the last year. Donations can be made to the Gordon and Miriam Pollock Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba or to the charity of your choice.